On August 29, 1948, Bernadine and Eva Mae Bullock Williams welcomed the birth of their first child, Bernard Maurice Williams. His parents were highly respected among friends and neighbors in the Manchester Community. They raised him in a Christian environment teaching him the biblical principle that; A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all. Proverbs 22:1
Bernard was an active and lively child. He grew up at the Manchester COGIC and remained a member until his demise. He was also a member of the Bible Way Church of God in Christ in Liberal, KS where his father, Elder B. D. Williams, was pastor and founder. Bernard loved music and often sang with the choir, gospel male groups, as well as with his family. He was always writing and rearranging songs for his family. The Lord blessed Bernard with a melodious voice and his COGIC roots allowed him to use his voice to bless others. While in Kansas he attended East High School in Wichita, Kansas and for a short time he worked for the City of Liberal.
Bernard moved back to Manchester with his beloved grandparents, Jacob and Flossie Williams. They spoiled Bernard, but made sure that he knew the way of holiness He completed the remainder of his education at Peake High School in Arkadelphia. There he excelled as a student and showed tremendous enthusiasm in his studies. Although he was too small to play football, track was his domain. He was an excellent sprinter for the track team. He busied himself with student government and building lasting friendships with other students, faculty and staff. Friends and family alike called him by his nickname “Tick”. By far he was one of the most popular students that walked the halls of Peake High School. When he graduated from Peake in 1966, he and Ralph Nelson were the first two blacks to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville from Arkadelphia. He later attended both Ouachita Baptist University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he studied Chemical Engineering. He later enlisted into the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharge.
He met and married Louise Sanders and to this union, Anthony was born. He later married the sweet and soft spoken Glenny Hart on June 30, 1986. He was employed by EPA Exchange Parts of America and DLM in Malvern for several years. Bernard loved to dress and was meticulous about how he looked when going out in public. He loved to talk for hours, travel and take pictures. He was an excellent cook and could cook any and everything.
Bernard surrendered his soul on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. He was preceded in his passing by his beloved grandparents, his mother, Missionary Eva Mae Bullock-Williams, his siblings, Jacob Williams, Venson Williams, Jessie Ponder, Jeffery Williams and Alice M. Williams, an uncle, Clyde Lewis Williams and a nephew, Cory Witherspoon.
He is survived by his wife, Glenny Williams; his children, Anthony (Amber) Williams of Murfreesboro, Timothy Sanders of Murfreesboro, Camila Williams of Omaha, NE, Trevon (Lonya) Newborn and Kevin Newborn of Arkadelphia, AR, Terrence Wright of Texarkana, TX and Johnathan (Meka) Tate of Arkadelphia AR; his father and stepmother, Elder B. D. and Mrs. Ollie Williams of Liberal, Kansas; eleven grandchildren; his siblings, Brenda (Gery) Evans and Pamela Cotledge, both of Whitehouse, TX, Karen (Thelford) Davis of Winona, TX, Gwendolyn Marie (Alvin) McKesson of Wichita, Kansas and Erica (Jerry) Rider of Tyler, TX. He also leaves his mother-in-law, Annie Bailey of Gurdon; his brother-in-law, Benny Hart of Little Rock; his sisters-in-law, Kassundra London of Longview, TX and Vonnie Brown of Gurdon; a special sister, Sharon Williams Taylor of Arkadelphia; special brother, Chad McCree of Plano, TX; his uncles, Jerry Swayze Williams of Manchester, CT, and Joe Ed Bullock of San Francisco, CA; an aunt, Vera McCullough of Denver, CO and a number of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Services to celebrate his life will he held Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 12:00 noon at St. Paul A.M.E. Church with Superintendent Leroy Williams officiating. Interment will follow at Piney Grove Cemetery. Public visitation will be on Friday, March 27, 2015 at the funeral home 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. The family will receive friends 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Manchester Church of God In Christ.